Thu, 11/29/2018 - 8:30pm

Peaceful progress

To the Editor:

To all who contributed and showed interest in the Block Island Peace Project:

I want to thank everyone who came and also those who were unable to come for various reasons, but who have contacted me about the project. There has been interest expressed in continuing, in various ways, so I cordially invite everyone to a meeting, “What Next for Peace on Block Island?” at the Island Free Library on Saturday Dec. 8 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. I will show a short video about peace, problems, and possibilities. Come and join in the discussion, reflection, feedback, thoughts.

You will not be surprised to hear that many of us believe “peace” to be complex. It’s not just about non-violence or war, but closely connected to justice, the environment, security, economics, and yes, politics and beliefs. Is it about human rights, or our planet? Is it local, what happens here, in our town, our school, our community? Or in those places where shootings cause shock and grief? Or is it global? In Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and other places?

I declare my own position — re: peace, I am an absolute pacifist, but before you ask, I have no idea what I would do if in a kill-or-be-killed place, as I believe my unconscious would act before my thinking capacity. I might be well enough trained to be non-violent, to respond with active peace-making. I might not. I might die. After all, we know that military training is aimed to override personal responses to danger, so that the unconscious obeys the order, not the self. Peace “training” might be close to listening training, awareness of both self and others, or as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”

The doughnut shown here is one idea I have thought is fit to live for, to be a good ancestor to my children and their children’s children — it is an “economic” perspective from Kate Raworth’s book, “7 Ways To Think Like A 21st Century Economist.” As it is complicated, I thought, start anywhere, see what happens next. Starting with peace seems as good a place as any.

I am grateful to the Island Free Library for hosting a wide variety of events, and to the Island Bound Bookstore for the Armistice Day Commemorative Program, and to all who contributed to the Block Island Peace Project: Susan Matheke, Nancy Greenaway, Ann Tickner, Mary Lutz, Peter Kinoy, Martha Wilson, Kristin Baumann, Eileen Miller, Steve Miller, Joanne Warfel, Molly Fitzpatrick, Susan Bush, Rita Draper, Edie Blane, Lars Trodson, Eliot Nerenberg, Amy Jaffe, Naomi Kerest, and Mary Donnelly, and all of you who came, and encouraged us with your presence. Thank you.

Elspeth Crawford

High Street


Reduce the deer

To the Editor:

In order to clarify information for myself related to the deer count on Block Island, I contacted the Department of Environmental Management and was referred to a deer biologist from the Division of Fish and Wildlife. I learned from them that on March 6, 2017, a professional aerial infrared deer survey was done on Block Island by a private company called Davis Aviation.

Deer surveys prior to that had been conducted periodically and have shown some minimal lessening of the herd, especially with the deer tail reimbursement program offered to local hunters that was started three years ago.

It is common for the deer to give birth to up to two fawns. Using the widely accepted deer reproductive rate of 1.6, this could increase the herd size from 630 to around 1,000. The deer tail program initiated three years ago has helped to keep the herd down to between 600 and 700. We still average at least 65 to 70 deer per square mile despite years of Deer Task Force efforts, town discussions, and numerous town council meetings that have focused on deer reduction and elimination proposals.

The DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife concurs that the ideal population of deer per square mile is 10 to 20. Numbers in excess of that are detrimental to the environment, unhealthy for the deer, upsetting to the ecological balance of an area and pose a high risk of Lyme disease to the population in the area.

As a frustrated former member of the first Deer Task Force, as a beleaguered home owner in historic Old Harbor where deer visit regularly to feast on plantings and leave ticks in the grandchildren’s outside play area, as a recent victim of Lyme disease, which was accompanied by a month of frightening physical and cognitive symptoms, and as a friend to many who have had and continue to struggle with Lyme disease and its after-effects, I say we all have an obligation to immediately take further steps which will guarantee a dramatic reduction to 10 deer per square mile.

Pat Doyle

High Street


A bounty of thanks

To the Editor:

Usually I write the same letter every year thanking people for their donations in the oyster fund-raising benefit stating the total and our thanks.

However, this year was truly exceptional: $970 more was raised this year than last, which is an increase of 50 percent. The total was $2,834, raised in a little over two hours. The Block Island Feral Cats Initiative scratched and clawed their way to the $50 first prize bonus for the most creative donation jar.

I know also that The Block Island Times alerted its readers several times about this event, helping get the word out. A special thanks to the firm of Fitzpatrick, Musso and Neville, LLP for bringing much needed sustenance to the oyster baggers, Kate McConville and Chris Orgen. This may have made the difference.

Seriously, we would not have raised this amount without the generosity of so many people who donated in excess of our suggested donation amount. Good job and thank you to everyone who participated. See you next year.

Bon appetit!


Christopher Warfel

Sun Farm Oysters, LLC


To the Editor:

This year the annual Turkey Trot welcomed over 170 participants from states including Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Missouri, and Nevada. The first male finisher was Steve Brightman from Providence, Rhode Island, who crossed the finish line in under 17 minutes. The first female finisher was Katie Cass of Duxbury, Mass., who crossed the line at 20:02.

Thanks to everyone that helped to make this year another success. Many thanks to Kathy Szabo and the Block Island Chamber staff. Special thanks to Moira O’Neill, President of the Leo Lions. Finally, our thanks to the volunteers of the Leo Lions for all of their support before, during, and after the race.

Race sponsors are Denali, The Oar, Rebecca’s Seafood Takeout, North Light Fibers, Diamond Blue Surf Shop, Ballard Hall Real Estate, Lila Delman Real Estate, Clarey Clayworks, Wild Flowers Boutique, Anchor House Inn, Block Island Pizza Pie Co., The McCollum Insurance Agency, Ballard’s Inn, Lepizzera Laprochina, Island Fitness, Kimberly’s Restaurant, Summer Sisters, The Block Island Ferry, and Dish off the Block.

Race results are available at active.com and snerro.com.

Meg Hennessy

Kathleen Hennessy-Coords


To the Editor:

Thank you! The Block Island Tourism Council would like to take a moment to thank those that helped make Tuesday night's Community Tree Lighting so special. We think it was the biggest turn-out to date!

Thanks to the Harbor Church for the beautiful location and to Pastor Peter and his wife Carrie for being such welcoming hosts.

Thanks to Cindy Pappas and those that helped her bake. Thanks to Block Island School's Mr. Denzer and the Elementary Student Singers, as well as Mac Brown for the tunes. Thanks to the Block Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, and especially Chris "Tip" O'Neill. Thanks to Block Island Recycling Management and its staff. Thanks to Sean Dugan and Brad Marthens.

A huge and heartfelt thank you to those that helped raise the tree this year; John, Sarah, Daniel and Justin Cullen, Kevin  and Tim Connor, and their dog Brody.

We are looking for more elves to help with the tree next year. If you think you might be available around Thanksgiving, please let John Cullen know!

Finally, thank you to this wonderful community for showing up and spreading cheer. It was great to see you all.

Oh! How could I forget? 

Thank you, Santa!

With gratitude,

Jessica Willi

Executive Director

Block Island Tourism Council


To the Editor:

It has been an exciting year for the Block Island Historical Society! Thanks to our membership and donors we are investing in our greatest asset, our historic Woonsocket House museum building. The restored West Gallery will be ready for new exhibits and programs by this spring. We are grateful for the excellent work from McLaughlin Housewrights. Contractor Dan McLaughlin and his crew, Greg and Devean, have kept on schedule, rebuilding the entire west side as well as adding HVAC, fire suppression, and mechanical systems. In addition to these improvements, the kitchen will be updated to accommodate future events.

Your gifts to the Historical Society Annual Fund helps us to continue our work preserving our extensive and valuable collection of Block Island artifacts.

It enhances our educational tours and allow for expanded workshops, programs and partnerships with community organizations. With your help, we will continue to tell the many stories Block Island has to offer and ensure the highest quality visitor experience at the museum.            

We thank you for your past generous donations and we hope you will continue to contribute during this season of giving. We are always happy to see you any time of year.

If you want to schedule a visit or explore your family history, please contact us through our new website or on social media. We are grateful for the support from the community over this past year.

On behalf of the entire Board of Directors and staff we thank you.


Pamela Littlefield Gasner, Executive Director; Officers: President Bob Champagne-Willis; Vice-President Martha A. Ball; Secretary Sharon Lehman; Treasurer Shirlyne Gobern; Directors Dr. Gerald Abbott, Mary E. Anderson, Dan Costa, Bernice Dangelas, Dorothy Findlay, Paige Gaffett, Sue Hagedorn, Mike Hickey, Carol Hill, Kristine Monje, Beth Taylor and Tobee McMellon, emerita